LOGAN, Utah – Ray Corn, the first head gymnastics coach in Utah State history, has died. He was 71.
Corn transitioned the program from club level to NCAA status, serving as the Aggies’ head coach for 31 years before retiring in 2008. He had an overall record of 448-448-2 (.500), including a regular-season mark of 342-260-2 (.566), and led the Aggies to the postseason 26 times, five of which culminated at the national championships. In 1991, Utah State finished 12th as a team at the NCAA Championships.
In 1978, Corn took a club-level Utah State gymnastics team and transformed it into an Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) power, finishing 30-4 in his first season. The next year, the Aggies made the first of four consecutive trips to the AIAW National Championships, finishing as high as ninth in 1982.
During his USU coaching career, Corn led the Aggies to four Big West Conference championships (1992, 1996, 1998, 2001) and the 2005 Western Gymnastics Conference championship.
Overall, Corn coached three All-Americans, three Olympians, three World University Game Trials competitors and nine NCAA national qualifiers, and was a six-time conference coach of the year (1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, 1998, 2001), along with being named the 1991 Midwest Regional Coach of the Year.
Between 1991 and his retirement in 2008, 32 gymnasts earned academic All-America honors a total of 50 times under Corn, while 92 gymnasts received academic all-conference accolades. Furthermore, Corn’s 1990 team won the NCAA Academic Championship for the highest team grade point average in the nation.
Corn was inducted into the Utah State Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the 13th class in September of 2015. He was also inducted into the National Association of College Professors of Phi Kappa Phi.
Corn was born on New Year’s Eve 1949 in Cebu City, Philippines. He moved with his family to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1954, and then on to Broomfield, Colorado, in 1960. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences with an emphasis in history and political science.
Having been ranked second in the state of Colorado for wrestling in 1967, Corn was originally recruited and signed to wrestle for Northern Colorado, but ended up successfully competing on the gymnastics team instead.
After graduating from UNC, Corn took a job as a teacher and coach at Oakley (Kansas) High School, but returned to Colorado to teach history and coach the gymnastics team at Bear Creek High School from 1972-77.
A viewing and memorial service for Corn will be held at the Virgin Valley Mortuary in Mesquite, Nevada, on Monday, Aug. 23, at 11 a.m. (MT). To view Corn’s complete obituary, please click here.